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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

[[happy new year...another long post]]

Happy New Year!!!
ok its MY new year, Samhain (halloween)

The Last Harvest. The Earth nods a sad farewell to the God. We know that He will once again be reborn of the Goddess and the cycle will continue. This is the time of reflection, the time to honor the Ancients who have gone on before us and the time of 'Seeing" (divination). As we contemplate the Wheel of the Year, we come to recognize our own part in the eternal cycle of Life.
In ancient times, the Celtic people celebrated the seasons of the year with annual festivals. The festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) was the most sacred of these festivals and it lasted for three days. The modern Halloween celebration has its roots in this Celtic celebration. It was a time for honoring the ancestors (like the Day of the Dead) and a time for celebrating the final harvest and the preparations for winter. It was called "the time of no time and the place of no place," a break in the Celtic calendar year where the rules were temporarily suspended (like the modern Mardi Gras). Folks dressed up in costumes, danced, feasted, played games, lit bonfires, and perpetrated innocent pranks. Children were allowed to go begging for treats at the neighbors' homes. It was the final big party before the quiet of winter descended. In the evenings, things calmed, and people gathered together to remember their departed loved ones in the land of eternal youth called Tir Na Nog, often dishing up plates of food for them at the evening meal, or setting up an ancestor altars with mementos from their lives. The Celts believed that the veil between the material world and the spiritual one was thinnest at this time of the year, so sacred communion with those who had gone before was common during Samhain.

Some Wiccans use a chant (or a prayer if you would rather call it that) at the beginning of the Feast to welcome their ancestors.One of these, for example goes like this:

And so it is, we gather again,
The feast of our dead to begin.
Our Ancients, our Ancestors we invite,
Come!And follow the setting of the sun.
Whom do we call? We call them by name
(Name your ancestor that you wish want to welcome.)
The Ancients have come! Here with us stand
Where ever the country, where ever the land
They leave us not, to travel alone;
Flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone!
Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Great be their Power!
Past ones and present-at this very hour!
Welcome within are the dead who are kin,
Feast here with us and rest here within
Our hearth is your hearth and welcome to thee;
Old tales to tell and new visions to see

[[Lorrellie Walks Alone On This Endless Road]]*|10:38 PM|

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